House Majority Whip Steve Scalise spoke with survivors of the recent high school shooting in Parkland, Fla. Monday about what they went through and his own experience as a shooting victim.
The Louisiana Republican — who sustained life-threatening injuries after being shot in the hip at the GOP’s congressional baseball practice in June — discussed a variety of topics in his Capitol Hill office, including how to move forward in the wake of the tragedy, with the group.
“Whip Scalise met with a group of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and alumni today in his office to discuss how we move forward as a country following the tragic shooting on February 14th,” Scalise spokeswoman Lauren Fine said in a statement. “As a fellow survivor of a shooting attack, Whip Scalise heard from them about their experiences, shared his own experience with the group, and talked about the healing process in the wake of traumatic events.”
Seventeen people were killed and 14 were injured in the the Feb. 14 attack after a former student open rampaged the school.
“Whip Scalise noted how important his faith, family, friends, and colleagues are in his recovery, and urged the students not to be afraid to ask their community for help and to keep supporting one another,” Fine continued in the statement. “As they continue coping with the aftermath of the attack, he encouraged members of the Parkland community to never hesitate to reach out to him.”
While the Parkland shooting has prompted several members of Congress to call for the passage of gun-control legislation, Scalise said they need to examine the details of how the shooter slipped through despite the FBI having received warnings of suspected gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, being a potential threat.
“Let’s focus more on addressing these problems in mental health that we’ve started to deal with in Congress,” he told Fox News. “Let’s close loopholes, let’s figure out what went wrong with government before people start talking about taking away the rights of law abiding citizens.”